National Constitution Center
525 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
The idea of a written Constitution, or covenant, between the governors and the governed claims its earliest American expression in the Mayflower Compact of 1620. The word for covenant in Latin is foedus, from which our word federal is derived. (See Jeremiah 31:31 for an example of a Biblical expression of covenant.)
The U.S. Constitution limits power by dividing government into three branches: executive, legislative and judicial. This seems to be anticipated by Isaiah 33:22, which says “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us” (NIV). This passage suggests the three branches of our federal government.
While at the Constitution Center, make sure you see the statues in Framers’ Hall. According to a study conducted by political scientists at the University of Texas, one third of the quotations used by our founding fathers were from the Bible.
Also see a direct descendent of the last Liberty Tree that is planted on the west side of the National Constitution Center’s grounds. The first Liberty Tree was a large elm which the Sons of Liberty used in Boston in 1765 as a meeting place to protest the Stamp Act. As unjust taxation continued, other Liberty Trees or Liberty Poles were established across the colonies. The dedication of Liberty Trees is illustrated by the words of Silas Downer in Providence, Rhode Island in 1768:
We do therefore, in the name and behalf
of all the true SONS of LIBERTY in America,
Great Britain, Corsica, Ireland or wheresoever
they are dispersed throughout the world, dedicate
and solemnly devote this tree to be a
TREE of LIBERTY.----May all our councils and
deliberations under its venerable branches be
guided by wisdome, and directed to the support
and maintenance of that liberty, which our
forefathers sought out and found under trees and
and in the wilderness. ---May it long flourish, and may
the SONS of LIBERTY often repair hither, to confirm
and strengthen each other. --When they
look towards the sacred ELM, may they be
penetrated with a sense of duty to themselves,
their country, and their posterity:--And may they,
like the house of David, grow stronger and stronger,
while their enemies, like the house of Saul,
grow weaker and weaker. AMEN
His reference to the decline of Saul and the rising of David comes from 2 Samuel 3:1. His Liberty Tree dedication prophesys the decline of British control in America as the new nation grows and boldly asserts its lawful rights in the face of injustice.
Also at the National Constitution Center, on long-term loan from the Providence Forum, is the American Eagle carved from wood from the last Liberty Tree. The Eagle is a biblical image of strength. Isaiah 40:29-31 says, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (NIV).